Alright, I'm lying. I've never really craved a good curd; however I think I will now that I've made my own.
I remembered seeing Ina making lime curd one episode — I believe for dipping long-stemmed strawberries into for a brunch. As it turns out, she also turned the curd into a tart filling and got another episode out of it. Genius!
I threw together said tart for my parents' annual party for the Festival of Ballooning, a big event that has been going on in their little town since they moved there in 1985.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the lime curd tart before 1) the sun went down, and 2) people ate half of it. Just keep that in mind for the photo above, mm'kay?
So back to the recipe. It takes delicious lime curd and fills a sweet shortbread crust to the brim with it. And if you're willing to do some patient stirring, you're going to see how easily the lime curd comes together.
Lime curd isn't the most glamorous-sounding food item, I have to admit. And when you're first pulling together the ingredients, it won't look very glamorous either. In fact it will look exactly the way you might peg something called "curd" to look. But be patient. After the patient stirring I mentioned earlier, you'll have yourself a beauty of a curd. Yeah, you read that right.
Whether you make the lime curd tart, I hope you'll get your stir on to at least make the filling to use on toast, dip fruit in, or take advantage of with a spoon. Trust me.
Lime Curd Tart (makes one 9" or 10" tart)
Tart shell ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
Pinch of salt
4 limes, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 extra large eggs, at room temp
1/8 tsp. salt
- Make the tart shell: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the butter and sugar until just combined. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Dump dough onto a flour-dusted surface and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10" round or 9" square removable-bottom tart pan, and chill until firm.
- Cook the tart shell: Butter one side of a piece of aluminum foil that fits inside the tart, and place it buttered side down on the crust. Then fill with pie weights or beans.
- Side note: I keep a canister of dried kidney beans in my kitchen and use them whenever I'm baking something that should be weighted. They live here when not in use...
- Moving along. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart shell all over with a fork, and bake again for another 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Now for the lime curd. Remove the zest of 4 limes with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pith.
- Squeeze the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set aside. Put the lime zest in a food, add the sugar, and process for about 2 minutes, or until the zest is very finely minced. This smelled like heaven to me!
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lime zest/sugar mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the lime juice and salt. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. The trick is to not let the mixture simmer, or you might have scrambled eggs in your curd. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Fill the tart shell with the warm curd and allow to set at room temperature. Once set, serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Click here for a printable recipe!